Our Special Commitment to Travel for Women
When we started European Experiences in 2006, one of Kathy’s goals was to help other women enjoy Europe the way that she did. As a younger woman, she had always wanted to go to Europe but didn’t have anyone to go with. Finally, in 1991 just after we got engaged, she went with two women friends on a two-week, fast-paced trip. The next year the two of us went on our honeymoon to London, finally having found a life and travel partner… and the rest is history.
Kathy has now been traveling, living and working in Europe for 30 years. She usually travels with Charley but also with our daughter Kelly, with women friends, and occasionally solo. And although we love having men and couples in our groups, Kathy continues to have a mission to encourage and facilitate women to travel. As the father of three daughters, this has been a priority for Charley too. Now, with the addition of Jennifer Dugdale to our team, we’re able to expand this focus. Jennifer has a special passion for women travel and has led many tours for women groups.
We’ve now hosted 120 groups in different parts of Europe, including over 550 different women. Women make up about two-thirds of our travelers, and many women have joined us for multiple trips over the years. Some women have been with us six, seven, even eight times! Many women do come as part of a couple. But we’ve also had many solo women travelers. Mothers and daughters. Sisters. And women who’ve come with one or more women friends.
We’ve always wanted to provide an experience that feels like traveling with friends. In our small groups, women form friendships, sometimes traveling together again in the future. We make personal connections with our travelers even before we meet in Europe at the start of a trip. When you join us, you will be traveling with friends!
Women find our small-group trips very comfortable and welcoming. They enjoy the connection with other women who are drawn to the same area, the activities included in our trip, the involvement with local people, and the personal connections within a small group. Our focus on a week in one place, usually in a village or small town in a beautiful area, is a unique experience. It’s safe.
We’re now expanding from our countryside-based trips to include several trips based in Paris, as well as a trip based in the small city of Bath in England. Some women may be unsure about spending time in a city alone. Our city trips with our knowledgeable leader Jennifer and a small group of women travel companions will make the experience easy and comfortable.
Trips for Women in 2022
In our early years, we hosted several “Women’s Weeks,” special European Experiences trips just for women. Women travelers are always welcome on any of our trips, but we’re delighted in 2022 to once again offer several trips that will be women-only. These trips are designed for women traveling solo or with one or more friends or family members. And although our Women’s trips will have generally the same itinerary as our other trips to that same destination, there will likely be some special activities… and, of course, a special kind of camaraderie.
Learn more about our special trips just for women below. (All of these trips are also offered at other times in 2022, trips that aren’t designated for women only.) We’d love to have you join us!!
This four-night "insider's" experience in Paris will introduce you a more authentic Paris, including experiences not normally accessible to visitors. We'll explore French gastronomy and food history, art and architecture, and homes and gardens, often through the perspective of Parisian hosts. (Note: we won't visit the major tourist sites, so this is not intended as a traveler's first visit to Paris.)
2022 Dates - Women's Trips: May 10-14 (Tues to Sat); Sept 20-24 (Tues to Sat)
Prices: $2,500 per person, double occupancy; $2,900 single occupancy
Leader: Jennifer Dugdale
This is an ideal trip to combine with The Luberon Experience Women's Week, May 14-21, Mediterranean Provence May 20-27 or Mediterranean Provence Women's Week, Sept 10-17.
|The Luberon Experience
The Luberon is an incredibly beautiful valley surrounded by low mountains and views in every direction. The authentic perched village of Bonnieux is the perfect base to experience the best of Provence. Our week includes perched villages, colorful outdoor markets, wineries, picnics, castle ruins and more. This trip was named one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 best tours in the world in 2012.
2022 Dates - Women's Trip: May 14 - 21 (Sat to Sat)
Prices: $3,500 per person, double occupancy; $4,000 single occupancy
Leaders: Kathy Wood and Gina McIntosh
|The Riviera Hillsides Experience
This new Experience week is based in the scenic foothills behind the famous French Riviera, offering a very different ambiance from the glitzy beaches of the Riviera. The backcountry of the Côte d'Azur is bathed in sunshine and carpeted in olive groves. The protected micro-climate favors temperate plant species and flowers of all kinds, important for the perfume industry. Our week includes visits to perched villages and lush gardens, a special day focused on art and artists, an excursion by boat to an offshore island, food-related experiences and much more.
2022 Dates - Women's Trip: June 5-12 (Sun to Sun)
Prices: $3,950 per person, double occupancy; $4,400 single occupancy
Leader: Jennifer Dugdale
|The Cotswolds Experience
The Cotswolds is the English countryside you've dreamed of: an idyllic land of rolling hills, gentle streams, grazing sheep, and quaint stone cottages. The well-preserved village of Chipping Campden, with its lovely High Street, is our home for the week. Our week includes historic castles, traditional pubs, magnificent gardens, quaint villages, a visit to a historic (and perhaps haunted) village pub, and a special dinner at the Pudding Club.
2022 Dates - Women's Trip: July 2-9 (Sat to Sat)
Prices: $3,600 per person, double occupancy; $4,000 single occupancy
Leaders: Kathy Wood and Susan Tseng
|The Mediterranean Provence Experience
This week is based in a waterfront village in the protected, lesser-known western area of the French Riviera. The landscape features a mix of natural Provence forests, rocky cliffs, coastal paths, discreet sandy coves, and the azur blue sea. Our week includes day trips to Marseille and Toulon, visits to coastal villages and vineyards, boat trips to enjoy the spectacular scenery, and much more.
2022 Dates - Women's Trip: Sept 10-17 (Sat to Sat)
Prices: $3,950 per person, double occupancy; $4,400 single occupancy.
Leader: Jennifer Dugdale
We’ll open for 2022 bookings on April 14, 2021. We’re happy to answer questions before then by email, phone or video call. Email Kathy
Resources – Women’s Travel
From the JourneyWoman website (April 2021): How Shifting into Slow Travel Changed my Life (an article about Kathy, including a Q&A)
Kathy’s blog post (2011): The Special Camaraderie of an All-Women’s Tour
European Experiences is a proud sponsor of JourneyWoman, a leading website and online community for women travelers. JourneyWoman has recognized us as a woman-friendly business that understands the unique needs of women travelers. Kathy was recently invited to join the JourneyWoman Advisory Council, a small group of women with special travel expertise. We are honored!
Virtual European Experience on April 8, 2022: a special program on European Travel for Women. The program includes short presentations by Kathy Wood, Jennifer Dugdale, and Carolyn Ray (editor-in-chief and publisher of JourneyWoman). The program also includes a panel of women travelers who share their experiences and suggestions.